For the second year running Grazia has teamed up with Kids Company and Reiss for a unique mentoring scheme to help four amazing twenty-somethings break into the fashion industry.
In the latest a series of regular blogs, Charlene Archer, 23, from London tells us about her first few weeks in the job...
‘I’m three weeks into my internship with Reiss now, and it’s been everything I hoped for and more. When most people think about a career in fashion, they automatically think of design – but I picked Visual Merchandising because I wanted to experience something different.
You know that moment when you walk past a shop window and think "I have to have that"… well that’s what my job is. We pick what goes in the window, what goes together on a rail, what catches your eye.
It’s perfect for me because I’ve always loved arranging things: whether its clothes, decorations or interiors. I’m a perfectionist too – you need to be for this job. It’s a very physical role – you’re on your feet all the time and can visit three different shops in a day. But it beats being stuck in an office. And I’m finally getting the hang of getting clothes on mannequins!
One of the best things is that the reaction from the public is so instant. The other day, I finished dressing a front facer – when an outfit is arranged to face you on the rail – and a man stopped and said "Oh, that’s a good look." That was great because I knew my job was done.
I have always loved fashion and when I decided to go ahead and apply for colleges I found myself in a dilemma as I didn’t know where to begin in terms of building a portfolio and how in depth it needed to be to fulfil their requirements, so I found Kids Company and went to their Fashion tutors for guidance, who were very inspiring. Whilst at college I kept close ties with my tutors from Kids Company and when this fabulous Reiss opportunity came up, I was thankfully picked to be put forward.
Everyone on the VM team are so amazing – and they treat me like one of the team.
I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks but I know I definitely want to carry on doing this after my three month internship with Reiss is over.'